Planted Tank Beginner and Algae Issues - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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I have kept various aquariums over the years including reef tanks and for the most part they did pretty well. This is my first time with a planted tank. I have been researching quite a bit but I still have a lot to learn. I am having problems with green algae on the leaves of almost all my plants with one exception, a grass that grows tall enough to emerge. Only one or two leaves below the water have the algae. I have temple compacta which is growing fairly well, two anubias frazieri, and several java ferns. I had an led light that was the equivalent of a pair of normal output t8s for a few weeks before upgrading to the beamswork da 6500k. The tank is a 45 gallon which I believe is 22 inches or so deep. I have a dirted substrate with larger rock as a cap. I do intend to have a sand cap eventually or smaller gravel. I have 8 tiger barbs, 4 platies, some pest snails which I am keeping under control and they eat algae on the sides of the glass more than on the plants.
Yesterday I did a 75% water change. I normally do a 10% change daily. There is some detritus of course but I strive to keep it minimal. I rub as much of the algae off the plants as I can but there is quite a bit still stuck on the leaves. I also started keeping the lights on for only 6 hours. I had them on for 12 hours previously. If I do a blackout for a couple of days will the algae on the leaves die also? If so can the leaves bounce back? As for testing The big three are 0, 0, and 20. Although I do not have tests for anything else yet I plan on getting them as soon as possible. I do not dose co2 yet but I aim to eventually. Right now only 10% of the tank is planted. I intend to add more over time. I have been able to take cuttings and plant them from the grass (which was found growing in a lake) and the temple compacta.
I typically feed my fish sparingly but several times a day. I hope to add shrimp to this tank before long sine they do eat algae quite nicely. Thankfully I get paid in a couple weeks and can start amassing tests for gh and kh, potassium, iron, etc. I also want to get the right ferts but I am not so sure now is the right time for that considering the algae. I'll try to get some pics later on. Any help I can get is appreciated.

One other question while I think about it. Once the algae gets taken care of will the leaves that had the algae be able to heal? I know terrestrial plants' leaves stay the same when they recover from mold issues especially if they were old growth. I assume that will be the case here too but I am trying to be optimistic. Thanks again for your help.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-15-2019 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 01:32 AM
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So as you have probably read by now algae is from something out of balance. It sounds like you have no source of carbon for the plants. This could be co2 or liquid carbon as an additive. You also have only 10% planted so between those two it's not surprising you have algae issues. You may also have issues where plants are transitioning from emersed growth to submersed. Leaves that have holes or become discolored will not heal and will eventually melt. You can prune them if you have enough other growth to sustain the plants.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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I was wondering about carbon but with relatively few plants I was thinking the natural level in co2 would be enough. I do have good surface agitation via a powerhead as well as via the filter. When I get paid I will be buying more fast growers as well as liquid carbon at least until I can afford a decent co2 system. Thank you minorhero.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 10:04 AM
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Do you have any photos of your progress, I'm in similar situation. Dealing with algea growth atm also. Turned my lights down, but think it's lack of carbon in my tank
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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I just did some rearranging and added some new soil to the tank so it is still slightly cloudy. I will post a pic later today. Not long after I started this thread I realized that my plants all had emerged leaves and had to transition to submerged leaves. There is still some algae on the old emersed leaves but the new ones are doing well except for one plant's new growth that some snails decided to partially devour LOL. I was dealing with GDA and GSA but now the green dust algae are pretty much gone. I am still battling the green spot algae though there is much less than there was. I dropped the light to about 7 hours and fed the fish sparingly so they would eat some of the algae. Between that and seeing my temple compacta growing faster (my only fast grower at the moment) I am seeing a big improvement. I also change 10% of the tank water most days and one day each week I alternate between a 50% and 90% WC. Hope that helps.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 12:17 PM
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I would try and refrain from doing any water changes over 50% and that can have a depremental affect. Water changes won't reduce algea. From what iv been learning it's either a water perameter issue or too much light. Also doing that much of a water change when stocked will cause stress to your livestock.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 12:30 PM
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Hi

Is this your worm tank? If it is then I would get rid of the rocks and put in some good planting material like pool filter sand, black diamond blasting sand or anything else that you can plant nicely in. Also you should plant easy and quick growing plants (as much as you can) to get some good plant mass in there. The anubias and java fern are rhizome plants so don't get the advantage of the dirt you have in there. Your temple plant does and should not be hard to grow as it is some kind of hygrophila I think. But they are sometimes hard to get going because they are grown emersed so they may be adapting and dropping leaves.

CO2 is mostly dependent on your light level. I don't know about the light you are using so maybe someone can help you with that. But even in low light situations CO2 helps (never hurts)

Things to do:

Keep the tank as clean as you can physically getting rid of any algae you see.

Lots of water changes and keep your filter clean.

Plant lots of easy rooting plants to get more plant mass.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Frank158. The algae issue is much better than it was and I am indeed going for fast growers at this point. The Temple plants are doing well and all the others are showing improvement. The worms are indeed the main reason I want to get a sand cap in there. Plus it will greatly enhance the nitrifying bacteria in there. Thankfully the only places with green spot are the sides of the glass and as you said the old emersed leaves. I trim the emersed leaves as new growth comes and the old leaves yellow and so far no algae on new growth leaves.
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