Help troubleshooting algae, tried everything but failed - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-28-2020, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Help troubleshooting algae, tried everything but failed

Hi All,
This is my first post in the planted tank forum after several years. This tank is about 1 and half years old. I have been battling all kinds of algae like crazy. I have tried all kinds of things, but still unable to battle algae and my stem plants are just dying. Please see the following
to see the video of my tank.
I would like to share my experience with with you and then ask some questions.
The following are the settings of my tank:
Tank Size: 45Gallon
# Fishes: 18, 10 serpae tetras, 5 Kerri blue, 1 Angel and 2 German blue rams
Cleanup Crew: 5 nerite snails and 4 otocynclus
Beamworks Beamswork DA 6500K 0.50W,
Co2 - running about 1 and half bubbles per second.
Gravel - floramax planted aquarium substrated. Not a great one I guess, got it from petsmart.
Filter -> fluval aqua clear
Water changes mostly once a week. If there is increased algae, I do twice a week.
Plants - Staurogyne repens (srepens - for carpet), Amazon sword, Java fern, monte carlo (Micranthemum), rotala Hra ('Vietnam H’ra’) and Egeria Densa.
I am no expert in aquascaping or plants and all the knowledge I got was through YouTube.
Diatoms -> I constantly get brown algae.
First 6-8 months:
I started my tank with Srepens and Egeria Densa. The only fertilizer I had was sachem flourish and it did not help much. The Edgeria Densa was growing really fast, but the Srepens growth was very slow and they looked bad. I found that their leaves sometimes had a cut (guessing it was due to my snails munching on weak leaves). Srepens was constantly attacked by diatoms, but the Edgeria remained relatively diatom free. I then planted Rotala Hra (shown in the video at 1:27) and suddenly Edgeria completely stopped growing and Hra took over and grew really fast. Now, algae started to form on Edgeria and their growth really suffered from hereon.
8-12 months:
My tank was completely decimated with Cyanobacteria (green slime algae) and I thought I could do nothing (since no amount of water change, cleaning filters, reducing light, etc. helped). You remove them, they again come back real strong within few days. All my plants were severely affected by this algae and most of them almost died. Finally, I found chemiclean and within a couple of weeks the cyanobacteria was gone. After this, the plants started to rebound back. Especially the Hra, which came back pretty strong. However, Srepens still suffered heavily. Their growth was extremely slow.
12 months - to now
My objective was to get the Srepens going. So, I ordered individual ferts from seachem namely potassium, iron, nitrogen, and phosphorous. I tried to dose as per the instructions, but ended up with a lot of algae growth. I suspected this was due to some major imbalance and I did not know what Fert was causing this. To make my life simpler I purchased Nylog thrive + (link here). After this, I found a significant improvement in srepens growth. You can see in the video that they are doing quite well. They started to grow quickly and I propagated them to all areas of my tank. I was really surprised and this was my first major change for the good. However, although my Srepens was doing well, the Hra has completely stopped growing (please see the video). I tried replanting Hra by cutting its branches, but they din’t grow. As you can see from the video, they are just battered with black algae (not sure what algae are they guessing diatoms? Please let me know). I tried adding just 1.25ml of flourish iron, but immediately there was an algae bloom. So this din’t work. I constantly check for phosphate level and they are fine. I even added phosguard, but that din’t help. I also suspected the flow in my tank. So, I tried adding a flow pump, but that did not help. Currently, I am running with two hang on back filter, one on the left and one on the right. But this did not help in any way.
I understand that balancing nutrients, light and co2 is the key. So, far I have failed to achieve this. I am not sure what mistake I am doing. I know it has been a lengthy post, but it will be great if someone can help me out with this situation. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks

Last edited by magnetpest2k5; 06-28-2020 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Adding some details
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-28-2020, 07:19 AM
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Kay, first of all, beautiful tank and carpeting, super pretty german blues, I love the angel fish center piece. However you have a lot of fish = a lot of waste = you have to clean it really detailed or have a clean up crew.

I'm not an expert but try recruiting a clean up crew (shrimp, snails, catfish...nerite snails love brown algae) and take a look at your plants, each one of them, at Google, so you can actually understand about root feeder plants and water feeder plants.

Also, I think twice a week water change for this tank of yours is a lot and you a killing the cycle, but you have double filtration and a nice surface tension break so it might not be an issue. Try looking for "old tank syndrome" as well and make[censored]use of reverse osmosis or deionized water to change the water.

You are using co2, this is increasing the algae bloom as well, i dont know if you have it but to clean a tank like yours i would use the gravel washer tube, its really good for carpet cleaning, and you can actually focus in one point to make it algae free again.

Aquariums are closed ecosystems, just like any lake or any where in the nature, expect changes when you add, take or change things from the system, even if its a small system just like fish tanks, tropical amphibians, ant colony......its nature, and nature can give a lot and take back as well.

So think about this equation:
feeding a fish community + CO2 system + plant root systems + lighting + (rich substrate) x (fertilizers) = life explosion

First thing I would do: check parameters (once in the morning and again at nighr) for a new (big) clean up crew. Then check your lighting cycle (12 hours on? Make it 10, do experiments by yourself to check how your ecosystem works in regards of lighting, temperature and oxygentaion)

Keep up the efforr




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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-28-2020, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response and tips.

Yes, I am aware of the number of fishes in my tank and unfortunately, I cannot do much about this. None of the pet stores near me adopt fishes. I know its a bit high, but I do have a cleanup crew. I have updated the details of my tank in my post.

My tank size is 45Gal # Fishes: 18, 10 serpae tetras, 5 Kerri blue, 1 Angel and 2 German blue rams
Cleanup Crew: 5 nerite snails and 4 otocynclus

I Don't do water changes twice a week all the time. It is only when I notice some significant algae growth. I am also not sure if I have a huge bio load. I feed my fishes just once a day. I do gravel vacuum using python system. Although, since most of my tank is carpeted, I try to just siphon things without disturbing the substrate.

I did experiment with lights as mentioned in my post. A month ago, I thought I almost got the balance. The problem I am facing is that if one plant does well, the other does not. For instance, currently Srepens, java fern and Amazon sword are doing well, but Rotala is doing very bad. I will do more experiments though.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-28-2020, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnetpest2k5 View Post
Thanks for the response and tips.



Yes, I am aware of the number of fishes in my tank and unfortunately, I cannot do much about this. None of the pet stores near me adopt fishes. I know its a bit high, but I do have a cleanup crew. I have updated the details of my tank in my post.



My tank size is 45Gal # Fishes: 18, 10 serpae tetras, 5 Kerri blue, 1 Angel and 2 German blue rams

Cleanup Crew: 5 nerite snails and 4 otocynclus



I Don't do water changes twice a week all the time. It is only when I notice some significant algae growth. I am also not sure if I have a huge bio load. I feed my fishes just once a day. I do gravel vacuum using python system. Although, since most of my tank is carpeted, I try to just siphon things without disturbing the substrate.



I did experiment with lights as mentioned in my post. A month ago, I thought I almost got the balance. The problem I am facing is that if one plant does well, the other does not. For instance, currently Srepens, java fern and Amazon sword are doing well, but Rotala is doing very bad. I will do more experiments though.
You can have some improvements like a timer for the light and for the co2, both should be turn on at day and both turned off at night. My co2 system runs 2 times during light time, for 2 hours, total of 4 hours of co2 daily.

Also, during night time, an airstone could help oxygenation, put it on a timer as well.

I will send some pictures of my 20g tank (i ordered some carpeting seeds already) that have 6 neon, 1 german blue (his wife died from mounth fungus) and 1 dojo loach, also 2 rescued livebearers. A lot of snails and some ghost shrimps.

At the timer picture you can see the light cable at day and the airstone cable at night, and i did noticed my fish less stressed after the airstone addition.

At the last picture you can check my basic "plant kit", i have more stuff but this is enough to understand. I have root tabs, the substrate I mixed with the gravel and some wondershells for shrimps and snails shell formation and reinforcement. Also im using seachem plant pack lvl 1 for a long time now and hygrophila loves it.

My tank is a result of propagation, all the root system you can see is from trimming and replanting, the same with ludwigia and anacharis. Im using the root tabs for amazon sword, ludwigia and echinodorus, as well as my hygrophilla mother plant only cause they really got their nutrients from the water (thats why im enforcing it with seachem pack).

My filter is for 40g, with filterpads to make sure it can take care of anything I put in the tank. And a lucky bamboo for nitrates, but I dont like the idea of planting at the back filter.

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algae, algae and co2, planted tank, rotala "h'ra", staurogyne repens

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