Help with Algae. 54 gallon bowfront corner tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Help with Algae. 54 gallon bowfront corner tank.

I am looking for advice on settings for my Fluval 3.0 on this oddly shaped tank. I'm having a bunch of issues with green hair algae and plants that I've read are supposed to be easy (swords, val) do not do well. I don't know if I'm putting too much light or not enough. Or maybe I just need to make the jump to CO2.

I've added my current settings to review. We have the tank in the living room and my wife only works 3 days a week and likes to be able to enjoy the tank so having the lights off completely during the day is not desirable.

I have sand for substrate, and I use NilocG Thrive, root tabs, and Enhance. And I do a 50% water change weekly.

I have or had the following plants that I can remember.

Java fern - does ok but lots of algae
Anubius - does ok but lots of algae
Jungle Val - covered with algae, no new growth
Val - covered with algae, no new growth
Ruffle sword- covered with algae, no new growth
Amazon sword- covered with algae, no new growth
Micro sword- covered with algae, no new growth
Ludwigia- covered with algae, no new growth
Dwarf hair grass - never grows or spreads.
Bacopa -melted without ever growing
Cobumba - does decent but seems to be reaching for the light
Some kind of Crypt - doing ok but lots of algae
Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus - grows pretty good
Aponogeton Boivinianus - grows really well, so fast that no algae grows on it. It's also in the back where there is the least light.

These are my current settings, only had it like this for a few days so I'm not sure if it's made any difference yet, Does it look like I'm on the right track? Or am I just going to need to bite the bullet and start injecting CO2? While I'm mostly looking for advice on the light, any advice is welcome.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 03:55 PM
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Have you tried NOT dosing at all? Most of your plants seem slow-medium growth and would do fine with less dosing and less light. Only Amazon sword and ludwigia might require iron.

Hair algae is pretty hardy so you might have to physically remove them.

Cobumba...did you mean cabomba? That's a fast growing plant that prefers CO2. Dwarf hair grass also requires CO2.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Have you tried NOT dosing at all? Most of your plants seem slow-medium growth and would do fine with less dosing and less light. Only Amazon sword and ludwigia might require iron.

Hair algae is pretty hardy so you might have to physically remove them.

Cobumba...did you mean cabomba? That's a fast growing plant that prefers CO2. Dwarf hair grass also requires CO2.
No, I've never tried not dosing. And yes, I ment Cabomba. It's not just that they are slow growing, I never get any growth on the Vals and the Swords have only put out small pale almost transparent leaves if anything at all. Even with Root tabs under them.
 
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 06:44 PM
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No, I've never tried not dosing. And yes, I ment Cabomba. It's not just that they are slow growing, I never get any growth on the Vals and the Swords have only put out small pale almost transparent leaves if anything at all. Even with Root tabs under them.
They are not growing likely because algae is covering their leaves preventing photosynthesis.

Algae and plants are both competing for the same resources(light, nutrients). Algae has an advantage when those resources are in EXCESS. Plants have an advantage when there is a SCARCITY of resources. This is an evolutionary adaptation of plants.

If you are overdosing, then you are shifting the favor towards algae. The key is to reduce light and reduce fertilizers. In nutrient-starved scenario, plants have the advantage.

Edit: just to add, if you look at a species like anubias for example, they have evolved to live in SHADY areas along river banks where trees and other plants have covered most of the sunlight.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 07:19 PM
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What is your dosing rate and frequency on thrive? What particular formula of nilocG, thrive, thrive+, thriveS or thriveC.

As others have stated itís about finding a balance between light and nutrients. To much light and/or fert you get algae. Not enough fert or one of the needed parts of fert in complete depletion and plants stall and you get algae.

Also be helpful if youíd give a whole tank picture so we can see planting density as well as providing PH, nitrate and phosphate readings. Also list of fish and other fauna tank is stocked with.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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What is your dosing rate and frequency on thrive? What particular formula of nilocG, thrive, thrive+, thriveS or thriveC.

As others have stated itís about finding a balance between light and nutrients. To much light and/or fert you get algae. Not enough fert or one of the needed parts of fert in complete depletion and plants stall and you get algae.

Also be helpful if youíd give a whole tank picture so we can see planting density as well as providing PH, nitrate and phosphate readings. Also list of fish and other fauna tank is stocked with.
I use just Thrive and Thrive Root tabs. I dose 6 pumps 3-4 times a week.

Ph is 7.6, Nitrate averages about 40 but gets as high as 80ish before my weekly 50% water change. Though those are estimates based on my ability to read the color of the vial.

I do not have a phosphate test kit, do I need to get that?

Here is a photo from just a couple days ago. Let me know if I need to get some closer photos of the plants for diagnosis.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 08:55 PM
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Completely overdosing for light level and undemanding plants/planting density. You need between 1-2 pumps 3 times a week. Probably closer to 1 pump. Standard thrive dosing rate is made for high light co2 injected tanks with rapid plant growth, that is not your tank. No wonder your nitrates are climbing so high, with all the algae growing on leaves blocking light, plants uptake of nutrients has all but completely stalled. Plus with root tab used the need for water column dosing will also go down.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Completely overdosing for light level and undemanding plants/planting density. You need between 1-2 pumps 3 times a week. Probably closer to 1 pump. Standard thrive dosing rate is made for high light co2 injected tanks with rapid plant growth, that is not your tank. No wonder your nitrates are climbing so high, with all the algae growing on leaves blocking light, plants uptake of nutrients has all but completely stalled. Plus with root tab used the need for water column dosing will also go down.
OK then. I totally thought the issue was that the plants were not getting enough nutrients to compete with the algae. I will do a water change tonight, then start doing 1 pump 3 times a week.

What about Enhance? Is that useful? and what dose should I do with that? I am doing the suggested dose of that daily.

And finally, any recommendations on my light level? I really like the look of the tank when I have high light but to keep the algae down I want to make sure I don't have it too high. Can I have it higher than I currently do? Or would I need to inject CO2 in order to up the light?
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 11:53 PM
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Have no idea what enhance is???

Your octopus plant is most demanding plant you have. I would use it as indicator as to whatís needed, give it enough light and nutrients to keep it happy.

All your other plants are lower light and way less demanding on ferts. Your going to have to find a happy medium between them and what octopus needs.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:55 AM
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Never used Glutaraldehyde but itís probably whatís keeping your octopus growing so Iíd do 4pumps day, 7 after water change. Then when other plants growth picks up go to 5pumps daily and 8 on water change.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Never used Glutaraldehyde but itís probably whatís keeping your octopus growing so Iíd do 4pumps day, 7 after water change. Then when other plants growth picks up go to 5pumps daily and 8 on water change.
OK thank you. I just finished a 50% water change so I put in 7 pumps glut and 1 thrive. I'll leave the lights where they are for a while and see if the algae starts to disappear. I've got 4 or 5 nerite snails and 2 Mystery Snails in there. Plus I have 4 amano shrimp in my quarantine tank that are nearly ready to transfer in. Between them maybe they can catch up on the algae if I can get it to slow down.

One more question since I have you, someone above said cabomba prefers CO2 but you thought the octopus plant was the most demanding one I had. Do you disagree or just miss that one in my list? I like the cabomba but if it's the only thing that really needs CO2 then I can deal with that.
post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 04:29 AM
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OK thank you. I just finished a 50% water change so I put in 7 pumps glut and 1 thrive. I'll leave the lights where they are for a while and see if the algae starts to disappear. I've got 4 or 5 nerite snails and 2 Mystery Snails in there. Plus I have 4 amano shrimp in my quarantine tank that are nearly ready to transfer in. Between them maybe they can catch up on the algae if I can get it to slow down.

One more question since I have you, someone above said cabomba prefers CO2 but you thought the octopus plant was the most demanding one I had. Do you disagree or just miss that one in my list? I like the cabomba but if it's the only thing that really needs CO2 then I can deal with that.
Iíve never used glut, never grown octopus but have grown cabomba with no CO2 just fine so really not best person to ask. Sorry.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Iíve never used glut, never grown octopus but have grown cabomba with no CO2 just fine so really not best person to ask. Sorry.
Ok thank you so much for the suggestions.
post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:54 PM
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Never used Glutaraldehyde but it’s probably what’s keeping your octopus growing so I’d do 4pumps day, 7 after water change. Then when other plants growth picks up go to 5pumps daily and 8 on water change.

Glutaraldehyde is just the main ingredient of Flourish Excel. It basically provides some carbon to plants (not as good as CO2 injection though). If anyone uses a lot of Flourish Excel, they can essentially buy Glutaraldehyde in bulk for much cheaper


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