My questions are:
- Tank Maturity - how long has this tank been running (e.g., new setup, 2 months, 5 years)?
- Filter - which filter are you using (brand, model, media used)?
- What Changed - If this is a new setup, skip this question. What was changed before the BBA/Thread algae appeared?
- ThriveS - how many pumps are you doing each time you dose your tank?
- Schedule - on what days do you add ThriveS, and on what day do you perform the water changes?
1. My tank has been running since April of this year, so I'd say it's about ~7 months old
2. My filter is an Azoo 360 filter, which currently has a sponge, then some Seachem matrix surrounding a (small) bag of Seachem purigen
3. This is my first set up, but I had been more sporadic with my fertilizing, and when I finally got my s*** together and started fertilizing as per the bottle's instructions, it seemed like the algae appeared. HOWEVER
, I had been very focused on other parts of the tank prior to noticing the BBA (or whatever), so I cannot say for sure whether this is the issue. Also, it would be weird if it were the issue since I have seen the leaves of some of my plants yellow a bit, and the lower leaves of other stems fall off, which I thought indicates a need for more
4. I am following the bottle's directions, 3 pumps (1 per 5gal) 3x a week M W F. My original plan was to see how this went and then adjust accordingly, but as I've mentioned, I was never able to detect a consistent
difference in parameters, and as I said above, some plants seemed to need more.
5. I fertilize M W F and change the water on Saturdays
I'd start with a 6 hour photoperiod at 50%. For example:
• Noon - turn on all lights at 50%
• 6pm - turn off all lights (totally off)
This means no ramping up/down lights. Just turn them on and turn them off. Use the Memory function in the Finnex 24/7. Trust me, the fish and plants won't mind. This is how it's been done for decades with no problem. *See note at bottom.
I know this is the best option, and I'll likely do it, I'm just a little hesitant for the frogs. I know the fish/shrimp probably won't care, but I do feel a little bad leaving the frogs in the dark. The frogs seem to get a bit confused (especially now with daylight savings) and start croaking whenever it gets even slightly darker. I'm a little worried that they will become stressed if I suddenly change the schedule. Not sure if you have experience with frogs, but I'm just worried. I know your schedule is probably best for the algae issue though.
I understand how to do the immediate on / off, but to get 50%, is there an easy way to do this?
Kill existing algae - Remove as much algae as you can without destroying anything. Use H202 (or Excel) to spot treat the algae 1x/day (H2O2 can be 2x/day if split many hours apart).
I just want to make sure I am doing this right -- you mentioned in a previous post I should start with 15 ml, so I use 15 ml total to treat every area, not for each area, correct? I've also heard that H2O2 can cause issues with bio media, is there something I need to do to protect my filter or ?? I don't have to do a water change after, correct? Is there a specific ... type/brand? ... of H2O2 I need to use?
Ferts, filtration, etc. - Leave it all as is. No changes. One of the important things to diagnosing a problem is to isolate each component. Avoid making multiple changes, especially if you're not sure what those changes will do.
I will continue with M W F fertilizing then, as long as you don't change your mind when reading my schedule. I definitely need to keep it more consistent. This past Saturday I did measure 10 nitrates, so I think that means something is...working?
This is not the time to do a full cleanup of your tank. The nitrifying bacteria that you need to break down the ammonia lives on hard surfaces (e.g., glass, rocks, plants, substrate, inside your filter). You don't want to decrease the nitrifying bacteria at the same time in which you're killing algae which may increase the ammonia load. Just focus on the algae. You can do a full cleanup of the tank once the algae is dead and your tank is stable.
So I should avoid scraping stuff off is what I'm assuming? Is gravel vacuuming along with my usual water change ok?
Keep us updated on the changes! Post full tank shots, as well as how the algae changes (e.g., colors, shrimp eating it, disappears). You'll enjoy seeing the changes over time, and it will be helpful to others who are having the same issues.
I will! I might start a tank journal or something on here. I am sorry my replies have been so late, I keep getting overwhelmed :P
Thank you for being so helpful and descriptive.
I think youre overdosing the fertilizer - Do you have a picture of the aquarium? In my experience there is a constant war between algae and plants and if the plants dont have the upper hand by covering all of the space or at least 60% of the aquarium and you try to use fertilizer - you just gave Algaeolf Hitler the first atom bomb. Its wouldnt assume its the light - I have 3 of the finnex's 24/7 on 40 gallons and they do not produce that type of light. Is there any natural sunlight hitting the aquarium as well?
I will keep this in consideration! I will try and get a full tank shot tomorrow when it's light, but here is a 3/4 picture
with one of my frogs, Timmy, looking quite majestic. The algae is a bit worse now than it was in this picture. The anubias in the back is covered in GSA and the BBA (or whatever?) wasn't present on the dwarf sagg. I also appreciate the effort you put in with that pun, thank you for blessing my post. I would say there is usually a short period where a slice of sunlight hits the tank, but I know that's all it takes for algae to start forming. I need to keep that in mind as well.
In terms of dosing too much, I could well be, but I have noticed some plants dropping leaves and yellowing at the tips, which is a sign of under dosage, or at least I thought? This past Saturday I got a reading of 10 nitrates, nothing else indicates fertilizer. It has been rather inconsistent...
Originally Posted by jellopuddinpop
I’m thinking you aren’t dosing enough.
A planted tank needs to have detectable amounts of both Nitrates and Phosphates, preferably in a 10-1 ratio. If you’re reading zero on both, then you’re doing something wrong. Either you’re using the test kit wrong, or you’re not dosing enough ferts.
Are you doing the Nitrate test right? By that, I mean shaking the everloving bejeesus out of it for at least a minute before adding your drops. If not, then you’re going to need to get a new test kit, because the bottle you have isn’t the correct mix any more. If you’re 100% confident that you’re doing the test right, then I suggest increasing your fertilization, not decreasing. You’ll want to have at least 10/1 Nitrate/Phosphate in the tank.
I also agree that your lights are on far, far too long. I would get rid of the funky schedule, and just go with like 30 min ramp up, 5 hours max, 30 min ramp down.
I think I'm doing the nitrate test correctly, I usually use my phone's stopwatch while I give it a good shake. If you look on the thrive website
, it has the break down of ingredients, I'm not exactly sure how to use that info to tell me whether I should have enough phosphates or not (with how I'm dosing: 3 pumps M W F) .
And yes! I shall change the lighting, it is the first thing I'm going to try.