Green pea soup!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2020, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Green pea soup!!

I know it's not unheard of when tanks are only a few months old to have an algae bloom. I've been trying to get even a little control of it but to no avail.

Background: It started after I added some Osmocote Plus root tabs (00 capsules) deep under the sand substrate. I pushed the tabs all the way to the bottom with tweezers so I don't know why it's getting into the water column, unless one of the capsules broke near the surface of the sand as I was pushing it down.

Tried so far: 3-day blackout treatment immediately followed by a tank flush - 90% water change. It looked pretty good after this, then went right back to green. I added sponges to the intakes of both filters, and polyfil floss inside my HOB filter. Still green.

Lighting: two 6500k T8 LED bulbs in a converted fluorescent fixture (33Gal/125L) = 22.4 Watts/Litre

Special Concern: I have live plants and don't want to harm them, and most algae treatments that I'm aware of are pretty harsh on plants. I also have snails and shrimp that I don't want to harm with chemicals.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2020, 09:01 PM
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How long is your light on?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2020, 09:02 PM
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Don't hassle with it and just get a UV. It will be gone in 2-3 days and your water will be clearer then ever.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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How long is your light on?
10 hours. Should I decrease it? I'm afraid my plants won't do well if I decrease it too much &#x1f615;

Ok I found a UV sterilizer light on Amazon. I have heard they can kill fish - when it arrives, how do I protect the fish and beneficial bacteria against it? (I've never used one)

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-21-2020 at 03:35 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 02:47 AM
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Ok I found a UV sterilizer light on Amazon. I have heard they can kill fish - when it arrives, how do I protect the fish and beneficial bacteria against it? (I've never used one)
You need get one specifically for aquarium use. If itís not for aquarium use, return it. They come in different sizes with specific flow rates for water to travel through them to maximize water sterilization. They are inline units and must be attached to a water pump. The bulb is surrounded by a quartz sleeve which in turn is surrounded by a plastic housing with a inlet and outlet to allow water to flow through and around the encapsulated bulb. You havenít figured out the cause of the green water. Try cutting down on the amount of light. Cut it to six hours or in half. Blooms like that can be caused by excess nutrients such as phosphate. You could be over feeding. Especially if the tank is new and the plants are not established. Fish food can introduce a lot of phosphate especially if your feeding to much. Your tap water can also be a source of excess phosphate. You can use a product called phosguard. Try cutting down on the light first and watch your feeding over the next week or two. Donít use the sterilizer. Return it and try what Iíve suggested.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Ok I found a UV sterilizer light on Amazon. I have heard they can kill fish - when it arrives, how do I protect the fish and beneficial bacteria against it? (I've never used one)
You need get one specifically for aquarium use. If itís not for aquarium use, return it. They come in different sizes with specific flow rates for water to travel through them to maximize water sterilization. They are inline units and must be attached to a water pump. The bulb is surrounded by a quartz sleeve which in turn is surrounded by a plastic housing with a inlet and outlet to allow water to flow through and around the encapsulated bulb. You havenít figured out the cause of the green water. Try cutting down on the amount of light. Cut it to six hours or in half. Blooms like that can be caused by excess nutrients such as phosphate. You could be over feeding. Especially if the tank is new and the plants are not established. Fish food can introduce a lot of phosphate especially if your feeding to much. Your tap water can also be a source of excess phosphate. You can use a product called phosguard. Try cutting down on the light first and watch your feeding over the next week or two. Donít use the sterilizer. Return it and try what Iíve suggested.
Thanks. I hadn't bought it yet thankfully. Already on top of the feeding - I've been very careful about how much food goes in the tank since this all began. I will lower the photo period and try that.

It all started when I put the osmocote tabs in. I don't know if that's a coincidence or not since I know a lot of people use them without incident.

Also, the one I was looking at goes inside the basket of a HOB filter.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-21-2020 at 03:35 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 05:47 AM
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Thanks. I hadn't bought it yet thankfully. Already on top of the feeding - I've been very careful about how much food goes in the tank since this all began. I will lower the photo period and try that.

It all started when I put the osmocote tabs in. I don't know if that's a coincidence or not since I know a lot of people use them without incident.

Also, the one I was looking at goes inside the basket of a HOB filter.
Donít add anymore root tabs. You probably donít have enough plants to take up all the excess nutrients, and the extra fertilizer is helping the algae to bloom. Stop fertilizing the plants for a while until you get the algae under control. That and cutting back on the light duration should help a lot. After about a week consider doing weekly water changes to dilute the algae die off and fertilizer. Run high quality activated carbon in your filter and change it frequently until the algae bloom is gone. You want the water to be as clean as possible. You need to be patient, and it will clear up if you can address the root cause. Which sounds like you added a lot of root tabs.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 07:04 AM
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Do a water change, and sell the waste water online as "freshwater phytoplankton" for feeding clams, daphnia, and other filter feeding organisms!

Alternatively, grab something like water hyacinth or water lettuce, and use that to suck up all the nutrients (or pothos. Pothos is great when the roots are in the water). When finished, dispose of the plant as necessary (burn it/compost it).

How deep did you plant the osmocote tabs?

So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for all the help and advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ichthyogeek View Post
Do a water change, and sell the waste water online as "freshwater phytoplankton" for feeding clams, daphnia, and other filter feeding organisms!

Alternatively, grab something like water hyacinth or water lettuce, and use that to suck up all the nutrients (or pothos. Pothos is great when the roots are in the water). When finished, dispose of the plant as necessary (burn it/compost it).

How deep did you plant the osmocote tabs?
Ohh pothos should be pretty easy to find. Actually easier than the floating plants around here.

For the root tabs, I used my snake-feeding tongs to push them deep under the sand, and didn't let go of the tab until I hit the glass at the bottom of the tank. But I'm wondering if one of the capsules broke or came open as I was pushing one of them under...

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 12:45 PM
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I have a heavily planted tank with fish, shrimp, and snails. About a month into the new tank I started to get staghorn algae and green spot algae.

I used some Seachem Excell and it all was gone in about 3 days. For the pea soup bloom a UV sterilizer will work quickly also.

Some fast growing stem plants in the back or the floaters described above will work well also. I have Rotala in the back and also some rooted houseplants which dangle in the water to help with soaking up excess nutrients.

In the long run you will of course need to find the a balance between plants, light, bio-load, feeding and nutrients.

Good luck
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 01:48 PM
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10 hours with two T8's right on top of the water? Ya, someone correct me if I'm wrong but that seems like a ton of light.
I would hang that light at least 10 inches off the surface if not more. My lights are at least 14" off the surface and gradually ramp up and down and run for less hours than that. Any more and i start getting a lot of algae on surfaces. I have a deeper tank too.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 06:47 PM
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I can't really see the flora in your tank but I would guess that 7 hrs is plenty enough light for that setup. An inline uv water filter would also work. If don't want to change the lighting schedule I would through a ton go frog bit or other floater to suck up the leaching root tabs and filter a ton of that light. They also are very nice for fauna especially shrimp.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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I have Pogostemon erectus and Rotala rotundifolia (ceylon), Cryptocoryne wendtii brown, Cryptocoryne willisii, and Taiwan Moss. The first two are fairly new so are still establishing root systems. I am going to try and get something that will dangle roots down in the water. I had an old bottle of Excell so I have started dosing it, and am lowering the photo period.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2020, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Woohoo! It's improving! Flourish Excel + willow branches + filter floss + less light + plants starting to take off = the beginnings of success! Thanks for your suggestions. Thanks for the help everyone!
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