Low light plants in a High light setup - getting algae - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Low light plants in a High light setup - getting algae

Besides the obvious rememdy of reducing the lighting, is there any thing I can do the help my slow growers cope with algae in a high-light tank? I have lots of bunches of anubias and needle leaf java fern that are getting algae in my tank. I have 2x39w T5HO and lots of co2/ferts. All the other plants are fine but these two are getting algae.

I'd hate to get rid of them because I really like them, but I find that my L. glandulosa doesnt like lower light. When the fixture was higher it was green and dropping leaves. Now that I lowered the light a few inches it's doing better and has a nice red color. But my slow growers are getting algae.

Am I better off getting rid of them and sticking with faster growing plants? Any experiences to share?


~ Jose


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 06:23 PM
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Dosing Excel can help if it's thread algae or BBA.

Algae eaters like Nerite snails or Otocinclus cats can help if it's brown or GSA.

Sometimes the best thing to do is move the slower growers around so they're in a bit of shade from the other plants.





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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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thanks Laura. thing is I dont really have much shade right now. the java fern is getting BBA, and the anubias are getting a really dark brown/black algae. its very tough, i cant even remove it with my fingernail. not sure what it is...

~ Jose


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jcardona1 View Post
thanks Laura. thing is I dont really have much shade right now. the java fern is getting BBA, and the anubias are getting a really dark brown/black algae. its very tough, i cant even remove it with my fingernail. not sure what it is...
My anubias has dark brown aglea growing on it also. I was told that is was diatoms and to get a couple of Otos. and the problem will be solved.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 08:38 PM
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Diatoms are a soft algae.

The hard, flat, brown/black crud that grows on the edges of slow growing plants is not diatoms. I'm not sure what it is, though I've heard it referred to as a different kind of BBA. Otos won't help with this; if you can't scrape it off with a fingernail, it's way too tough for them to remove.

Tends to accumulate on many plants that grow very slowly, especially if they're exposed to too much light. H2O2/Excel spot treatments/dips seem to only slow it down for a while, and don't remove what's already there. I haven't tried bleach or potassium permanganate. One person even tried burning it off with a laser.

It seems to grow faster if the tank is susceptible to the normal tufty BBA, so if you can correct that situation, it should help.

Also, make sure your anubias are getting some root fertilization; otherwise they're growing slower than they can.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 08:52 PM
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make sure your anubias are getting some root fertilization
you mean water column fertilization?


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 09:19 PM
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if you have bba i bet your co2 isnt up to where it should be. if it is you dont have enough circluation to get it around your tank.

anubias are really tough plants. take it our of the tank and hose it down with h2o2 and leave it out for a few minutes (i pretty much let mine dry before i put it back).
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 09:20 PM
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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if you have bba i bet your co2 isnt up to where it should be. if it is you dont have enough circluation to get it around your tank.

anubias are really tough plants. take it our of the tank and hose it down with h2o2 and leave it out for a few minutes (i pretty much let mine dry before i put it back).
i have two drop checkers in the tank, one at each end, and placed closer to the substrate. theyre both bright yellow, and the needle leaf is right next to one of the drop checkers. strange because these are the only plants with algae

~ Jose


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 10:08 PM
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how much circluation do you have there? are the plants swaying?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 12:39 AM
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If you haven't already, reduce your light duration, prune often and keep your tank's organic load very low. This will keep plants liek Java Fern very clean in high light.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 05:54 AM
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add some fast growers like sunset hygro
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 11:53 AM
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This thread is now about lasers.

Off topic: I get that black stuff too. CO2 seems to help, but it usually has to be trimmed.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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how much circluation do you have there? are the plants swaying?
it's 57g tank with a sump and a 1000gph pump. theres plenty of flow in the tank as i can see particles moving around. but my plants are not actually "swaying" around. i made the holes in the spray bar larger to reduce any turbulence in the water

~ Jose


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 04:55 PM
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Do you use 4 dKH water in the drop checkers - water made with distilled water plus bicarbonate of soda to raise the KH? "Plenty of flow" would be enough to see almost all of the plants swaying a bit in the current. So, you may not have enough circulation. And, yellow drop checkers should indicate enough CO2 to be killing off the fish. Is that happening?

In a high light tank, like you have, very slow growing leaves are very likely to get BBA growing on them, in my experience. Algae tend to grow on unhealthy or non-growing leaves. And, both Java Fern and Anubias have always been an algae problem for me when I had even medium light. Reducing the light to the low medium range will still allow almost all plants to grow well, with good CO2, but the algae problems will be much, much less.

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