Algae from Ammonia/Cycle - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Algae from Ammonia/Cycle

Hello all,

So long story short, I set up my 55 gallon a couple weeks ago now. I've been running my old established filter along side my new filter and I thought everything was going fine.

Only to realize I never unplugged my UV sterilizer from the timer during this time so I'm like 99% sure that I've been killing the BB that has been trying to seed itself in my new tank.

Today I ran out and bought some prime and seachem stability to help seed my tank and neutralize the ammonia/nitrites (my fish aren't acting like anything is wrong in the tank, but just to be safe).

However in the last few days I've had some misc green algae start growing in the tank which prompted me to test the tank to figure out what was going on and is where I realized my tank was cycling again.

My question is, once I get the cycle dealt with will the algae stop growing? My plants are doing excellent right now so I'm pretty sure the source of the algae is from the unstable water parameters.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 11:41 PM
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Taking a step back, you have tested nitrite or ammonia in the water, correct?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Taking a step back, you have tested nitrite or ammonia in the water, correct?
Yeah nitrite was 0.25ppm lastnight ~18 hours ago from this post. And Ammonia was between 0.25 and 0.50 at the same time point.
Today at 7:45PM nitrites were blue with a touch of purple. So 0-0.25ppm and the ammonia was 0-0.25ppm.

The seachem stability should fill in the blanks of the missing BB and stabilize the tank again.

I was just wondering if I needed to be worried about the algae sticking around after the fact, or if it will cease after the ammonia was sorted out.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 01:15 AM
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I was just wondering if I needed to be worried about the algae sticking around after the fact, or if it will cease after the ammonia was sorted out.
It would be tough to say, since so much will depend on plant mass, uptake, your maintenance going forward.

Once algae is seen it's pretty much like any other plant in your tank, it will enjoy ferts, co2, light, etc. Before algae is seen it's a spore that feeds off ammonia. A threshold has been breached in your setup that turned the spores into alga. That's my view of the process anyway.

All you can do now is grow healthy plants (add more if you can), limit light cycle and keep the water as pristine as possible (carbon/purigen).
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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It would be tough to say, since so much will depend on plant mass, uptake, your maintenance going forward.

Once algae is seen it's pretty much like any other plant in your tank, it will enjoy ferts, co2, light, etc. Before algae is seen it's a spore that feeds off ammonia. A threshold has been breached in your setup that turned the spores into alga. That's my view of the process anyway.

All you can do now is grow healthy plants (add more if you can), limit light cycle and keep the water as pristine as possible (carbon/purigen).
Yeah I think the perfect environment was provided for this stuff to bloom, a cycle environment + unstable Co2 at first until I got my reactor running. I'll just have to have to feel everything out and see what things look like after I stock the tank with more plants. I just wanted to know what insight others had into the subject.

As long as my plants continue to grow as they are now then I think they can take care of things. In the week that I've had my reactor running and after tuning the fert levels, things have absolutely gone crazy. Specifically my Rotala Wallichii and what I believe is a brown/brick red version of ludwigia repens (It's not ludwigia 'super red'), both have turned a very dark red/brown color in their new growth and the ludwigia is at a glance like 4.5" wide, it's growing huge.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 01:47 AM
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If the plants are showing healthy growth that's good. If the algae isn't on the plants, but just on the hardscape then that's less of a problem. Also I would plug the UV back in. If there is excess ammonia it could prevent green water.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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So a little update for those who find this thread and have the same issue.

After a few days of dosing the stability to the letter in the directions my tank has finished the mini cycle.
The ammonia was 0-0.25 ppm (might just be 0 my eyes can't see the colors very well) less then 24 hours after my last ammonia update, and my nitrites were 0 when I tested the other day.
The plants killed all of the misc green algae in just a couple days since I posted last and all that's left is the dreaded staghorn algae, however it has stopped spreading and only what was present with the ammonia spike is growing bigger so that's good.
I've been spot treating it with H2O2 and I'm just going to continue doing that a little bit every day until it's gone, so far every day a few tufts out of the whole lot that I've spot treated turn red (might be old hydrogen peroxide no idea TBH) so it might take a little bit for it to be all killed.
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