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Discussion Starter #1

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Hi jacko5,

It is a planted tank right?

Phosphates are a macronutrient for plants so you must not remove them, unless you have a non-planted tank, even so. Phosphates are often blamed for algae issue, but rarely the cause, if at all.

I dose phosphates in my tank, like a lot of aquatic plant enthusiasts here.

Michel.
 

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Hi jacko5,

It is a planted tank right?

Phosphates are a macronutrient for plants so you must not remove them, unless you have a non-planted tank, even so. Phosphates are often blamed for algae issue, but rarely the cause, if at all.

I dose phosphates in my tank, like a lot of aquatic plant enthusiasts here.

Michel.
Michel,
Yes its a planted tank.
I am just sick of getting algae on my plants, and i have read online that Phosphates can cause this problem.
I does ferts, home made and use root tabs for my plants.
I change 25% of my aquarium water weekly.
Dont overfeed my fish.
I have LED lighting on for 8 to 9 hours,and co2 dosing.
I just cannot stop algae on my plants.
 

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Lets see some pics of your tank.

I'm willing to bet your fert regime is not the root cause of your algae troubles. Don't waste your money on 'phosphate remover' that is just ridiculous. Just do a bunch of water changes and dose less P if you think that is the issue lol.

Is it densely planted? How strong are your lights? What is your CO2 setup like? etc...
 

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Algae is almost always caused by three things: too much light, too little co2, too much dissolved organic compounds.

Reduce your light, increase amount of co2, do larger water changes.

Phosphates do not cause algae, at least within reasonable ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the info guys.
I have increased the light .. i was running 40% on both channels.
I have the LED's now running at 60% and 50%.
I will increase the water change to 33% weekly instead of 25%.
Not sure about more co2 as my PH may go to low, even though i am buffering with coral gravel in one of my external filters.
I live in a soft water area as well.
I will also put more plants in the tank, but i have a 6ft , 600 Litre tank so filling it with plants is expensive.
I was also putting 10ml of liquid plant food in a day, i will change that to 60ml in one dose weekly.
 

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If you already have algae you should not increase lights, you should cut back the time they are on. 9 hours is too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
d
If you already have algae you should not increase lights, you should cut back the time they are on. 9 hours is too much.
Thanks.
I have just checked my timer, they are on for 7 hours at 60% and 50%
Then an hour either side at 20% on the blue channel.
I think that is not to much but i may be wrong.
I am now thinking of a RO System and adding the stuff the fish need to the water.
Can anyone tell me what i would have to put in the water to make it Ok for the fish after the water has run through a RO system ?
 

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I am now thinking of a RO System and adding the stuff the fish need to the water.
Bringing RO up to be good for fish? You could get away with a GH booster (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfate), and an alkalinity booster (sodium bicarbonate).

For plants: You'll need to add nitrate, phosphate, and micronutrients (Fe, Cu, Zn, B, Mn, and Chloride) and possibly traces (Co, Ni, Mo ) as well. Na is also a micronutrient, but the alkalinity booster usually provides plenty.

But if you're thinking RO is going to cure your algae problems... be aware it probably won't.

Nutrient limiting isn't generally a good approach to controlling algae in planted tanks, at least in any kind of long term.. Algae need all the same nutrients that plants do, which makes sense since algae is a plant. If you take away something to kill the algae, you'll eventually kill your plants too. Unless you're dealing with non-algae problems like diatoms (which need silicates that plants don't need), this usually doesn't work out in the long term.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bringing RO up to be good for fish? You could get away with a GH booster (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfate), and an alkalinity booster (sodium bicarbonate).

For plants: You'll need to add nitrate, phosphate, and micronutrients (Fe, Cu, Zn, B, Mn, and Chloride) and possibly traces (Co, Ni, Mo ) as well. Na is also a micronutrient, but the alkalinity booster usually provides plenty.

But if you're thinking RO is going to cure your algae problems... be aware it probably won't.

Nutrient limiting isn't generally a good approach to controlling algae in planted tanks, at least in any kind of long term.. Algae need all the same nutrients that plants do, which makes sense since algae is a plant. If you take away something to kill the algae, you'll eventually kill your plants too. Unless you're dealing with non-algae problems like diatoms (which need silicates that plants don't need), this usually doesn't work out in the long term.
Thanks for the info.
I think i need another approach to algae then.
I will have to have a good read on the forum.
Thanks for all your replies.
Off for a read :)
 

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You're welcome...

Some general bits as starting points:

1) Light and CO2 levels are a very significant factor in most kinds of algae.. One of these is usually the first knob you should be looking at. These two generally balance each other, so if you're not injecting CO2, look at lighting.

2) There's some really good links to algae info in the Algae forum sticky post. These will help you identify different kinds of algae, and suggest possible causes. Note that the sites do sometimes contradict each other. Nobody fully understands algae growth, so there's some ambiguous areas out there, and it shows.

3) Vigorous plant growth tends to suppress many forms of algae. The exact mechanism isn't understood, but it is well observed by many. Tom Barr is a strong proponent of the "make your plants healthy and unless you've got something really off in your light/co2 levels, the algae will usually go away" approach. I tend to agree with him, at least for 99% of situations this seems to work.

4) Nutrient overdose generally doesn't cause algae, otherwise everyone using EI would have an algae farm, myself included. However there is some possibility for wild imbalances to trigger algae... stick to a balanced dosing regime, tweaked mildly based on plant behavior and you should be fine.. Jacking up one nutrient in a tank way beyond the needs of plants and leaving everything else low isn't usually a good idea.
 

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Nutrient limiting isn't generally a good approach to controlling algae in planted tanks, at least in any kind of long term.. Algae need all the same nutrients that plants do, which makes sense since algae is a plant. If you take away something to kill the algae, you'll eventually kill your plants too. Unless you're dealing with non-algae problems like diatoms (which need silicates that plants don't need), this usually doesn't work out in the long term.
Totally agree, nutrient limiting i tried in the past and the only thing i was able to limit was the plants, not algae.

Algae need so little to thrive that the plants will decay well before algae are affected, in fact algae will thrive even better than before because the plants are not there anymore to compete.

Michel.
 

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d

Thanks.
I have just checked my timer, they are on for 7 hours at 60% and 50%
Then an hour either side at 20% on the blue channel.
I think that is not to much but i may be wrong.
I am now thinking of a RO System and adding the stuff the fish need to the water.
Can anyone tell me what i would have to put in the water to make it Ok for the fish after the water has run through a RO system ?
You can buy a really cheap lux meter on Ebay or Amazon, or a few other places, about $20, and set your lights up temporarily out in the air, propped on stacks of books so they are the same distance from the lux meter sensor as they are from the substrate when they are on the tank. Measure the lux, and divide the reading by 65 for a crude measure of the PAR in the tank. Then you will be much better able to adjust the lights to get close to the amount of light you want, without so much guessing. Is that worth $20, or whatever it is where you are?
 

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Phone apps are free for a lux meter too.
Download several and compare them.
Using a lux meter at work then comparing to phone are pretty close.
I have also used Hoppy's suggestion just without the $20 expense.
 

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Get some SAE'S they are wonderful at cleaning plants
 

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Hello,

Do not forget SAE get 15cm in lenght so adding them in tank too small could help against algae, when they are young, but later it could be the contrary. Also some sites advise they should be kept in schoals of at least 4.

They may eat much less algae when getting older. When they grow up, if the tank is too small for them, it can create other problems, and yes they could create algae issues later if the tank is too small for them, because a tank which biomass can't handle the excrements from the fishes will be prone to algae issues.

One have to think of the long terms effects before adding any fish in the tank. Fiskeeping is a matter of patience and long term view. There are other ways of getting rid of algae without adding a fish solely on its reputation of algae cleanup.

Forgive my english, i am french canadian.

Michel.
 

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Hello,

Do not forget SAE get 15cm in lenght so adding them in tank too small could help against algae, when they are young, but later it could be the contrary. Also some sites advise they should be kept in schoals of at least 4.

They may eat much less algae when getting older. When they grow up, if the tank is too small for them, it can create other problems, and yes they could create algae issues later if the tank is too small for them, because a tank which biomass can't handle the excrements from the fishes will be prone to algae issues.

One have to think of the long terms effects before adding any fish in the tank. Fiskeeping is a matter of patience and long term view. There are other ways of getting rid of algae without adding a fish solely on its reputation of algae cleanup.

Forgive my english, i am french canadian.

Michel.
+1 to this post

I have never owned SAE but recommending fish to deal with algae issues is not practical advice. Any algae-eating fish should keep things pristine in environments where algae is already at a minimum. They should not be expected to maintain an algae-free environment.

I agree with others in this topic in that underlying factors light light levels, CO2, growth of your plant mass are the underlying factors that need to be addressed to avoid algae in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all you help :)
Will look at a light meter app fro my phone.
I think my LED light setup maybe a little to strong.
Trying to get the correct amount of light is key here i think.
I have just put some more pants in last weekend.
Will look at putting more plants into the tank in the next few weeks.
 
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