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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having what I'm sure are probably pretty common issues with a first timer - algae. As my tag below my handle states - I'm a good grower LOL


My tank is a 40B with 2 Finnex lights, a Ray2 and a Planted+. I'm using CO2 and dosing dry with EI method. I don't have a ton of plants but a fair amount. I do my 50% water changes Sundays following my dosing schedule. I have a Fluval 306 and have recently added a power head to try and keep things stirred up more and hopefully keep the algae at bay but it's still running the tank.

I know from research and your help that a lot of plants are needed to help with this in part due to high lighting. I have cut my photo period back since I've gotten everything fairly tuned in. I'm not super religious with my dry fert dosing so have been trying to get better with that.

I don't have a ton of plants because I'm not really going for the jungle look. I'm hoping for a cleaner look and I know that's probably part of the issue. I've cut my photo period back to 8 hours a day as I was doing closer to 10. Pardon my layman terms but I have a few plants with what look like typical wide blades of grass. There are a lot of blades per plant and they continuously break off. I've been trying to just plant them but everyday I find a new blade or 2 floating around.

I tried uploading photos but Tapatalk just keeps giving me errors saying I need to login.... Pretty annoying. I have long hair algae and also dust-like algae on leaves. It's weird because I still see a lot of new growth in plants but the algae is getting out of control already.

Any ideas what I can do to help curb this stuff?
 

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Looks like new tank algae. Mix and match the following:

Do you have a drop checker or what CO2 levels do you estimate from pH-KH ? Check the CO2 levels are good.

I would suggest buying more fast growing plants, even if you do not want them at the end. You can always sell, trash or donate them.

Spread out the Ludwigia clump, you get more growth this way.

Get some algae eaters ( amano, RCS, otos or even snails will work)

Lower light intensity

Wait
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have a drop checker and a couple zebra snails.

I figured more plants would help. Do you have specific recommendations?

I turn the power head on during the day too but I think this one (400GPH) is probably a bit much. Do you think it's a flow issue? I was hoping to not have power heads at all since they take up so much space...
 

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Looks like hair algae and diatoms(brown algae). For the hair algae, manual removal is probably the best coarse of action along with water changes. Maybe cutting your light back a bit more as well, because that's a lot of light. Other than what looks like baby tears up front, you don't have plants that demand the amount of light and possibly ferts that you are supplying. Without additional plant mass to out compete the algae you may be in for a long battle.

The diatoms are normal for a newly setup tank. In my experience this will need to run its coarse. You can however help this by adding some Oto cats, as they love to eat the stuff.

I will end by saying that I am not an expert and there are many here that have way more knowledge on algae that I do.
 

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This is a good example of a new tank that regardless of what co2 levels you push it to, it is still going to have algae issues.

You have a lot of light and low plant mass. That is a most difficult combination, because any ammonia in that new setup combined with the energy they derive from the strong light will bring out the algae.

The only way you can make that work is to have done the following when you started it: Use about 4 hours of light, use purigen/carbon in the filter to help get rid of organics that the plants and immature bio-filter aren't doing and preferably seed the filter. If you did all that I think you would have had a fighting chance. You can still do this but and the algae should eventually disappear, but you need to be actively trimming dead leaves and vaccuming that stuff off the plants so they can start to grow again. The powerhead won't hurt but probably not necessary in a tank that size.
 

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A few more questions about CO2. How is it injected ? How long is it on before lights ON ? What do you use in the drop checker (4dKH solution) and what color is it ?

With this plant densitiy, flow should not be a big problem but the added powerhead does not hurt.
Consider adding some more. I would add some ramshorn snails, let them breed, eat and then remove them.

As for suggestions :
green Hygrophila sp. do a good job. H. angustifolia or corymbosa might be nice for your setup.
Egeria, Elodea, Ceratophyllum - all 'pond' plants
Vallisneria - slower growth but easier to anchor
Sagittaria subulata - for the foreground
Hydrocotyle, Ceratopteris - floating but can be anchored

There are others but these should provide some diversity of leaf and color .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The tank was up and running for about 3 weeks before adding plants, lighting etc. I had a few fish and just the filter running to help seed and cycle.

My CO2 kicks on when my lights do. I'm using an atomic diffuser from GLA as well as their CO2 indicator solution which is 4dKH. The checker reads a dark green.

houseofcards are you suggesting I cut my photo period way back? I wanted to be sure my lighting would suffice for any plants I wanted which is why I have so much.
 

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houseofcards are you suggesting I cut my photo period way back? I wanted to be sure my lighting would suffice for any plants I wanted which is why I have so much.
Yes, cut it way back, big water change, vacuum off or take the plants out and rinse. Keep a good schedule with WC and dosing and make sure you co2 is good. The co2 even if good won't save the day without doing the other things, because there just isn't enough plant mass to make that much of a difference.

The higher light plants will be fine with the shorter duration. As long as the intensity is there. You could also run very dim light for a long duration and just give the plants 1-2 hour of strong light. I've done that with HC carpets and other even higher light demanding plants and they were fine. Once things get back in shape you could gradually increase the duration.
 

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Yes, the timming is about right. In this case houseofcards is right, CO2 alone will not solve everything but it will help to provide good levels. Try to have it so that it starts one hour before lights ON, this way there is a higher CO2 conc. available when needed. The dark green suggests too little CO2. Try to slowly increase it so you end up with a light green just before lights OFF. Always monitor fish behaviour when increasing CO2, and again do it slowly.

I would go with 6-8h photoperiod with reduced light intensity rather than 4h of full intensity, but that is just me. A burst of light when you are sure you have enough CO2 is also another approach.
 

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The higher light plants will be fine with the shorter duration. As long as the intensity is there. You could also run very dim light for a long duration and just give the plants 1-2 hour of strong light. I've done that with HC carpets and other even higher light demanding plants and they were fine. Once things get back in shape you could gradually increase the duration.
houseofcards,
just wondering, what was your shortest photoperiod to sustain healthy plants?

Thank you
Edward
 

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i agree with the OPs. you are doing too much for the amount of plant mass you have. too much light, too much ferts and CO2.

I would turn off 1 of the lights for half the photoperiod. run on 1 light for 2 hours, then 2 lights for 4 hours, then 1 light again for 2 more hours, and greatly reduce ferts and CO2.
 

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houseofcards,
just wondering, what was your shortest photoperiod to sustain healthy plants?

Thank you
Edward
I've run many tanks at 4 hours long term and grew a variety of very healthy plants. Some of these that I can recall included HC, Blyxa, Hygro Pinnatida, Hairgrass, Bolbitis H, Java fern, etc.

I don't recall using a shorter term than 4 hours. I did also use low-light for a regular duration (8 hrs) and did a burst for just 1 hour and was help to grow and carpet healthy carpets using HC, riccia, hairgrass and other stem plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will have the CO2 kick on an hour early going forward.

Unfortunately my lights are not dimmable so I would need to follow your other suggestion and have one light then both then one.

I did a big cleaning tonight and took everything out and rubbed down. Hopefully that along with the other changes will help! Thanks guys.
 

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I've run many tanks at 4 hours long term and grew a variety of very healthy plants. Some of these that I can recall included HC, Blyxa, Hygro Pinnatida, Hairgrass, Bolbitis H, Java fern, etc.

I don't recall using a shorter term than 4 hours. I did also use low-light for a regular duration (8 hrs) and did a burst for just 1 hour and was help to grow and carpet healthy carpets using HC, riccia, hairgrass and other stem plants.
houseofcards, ,
I will set one 250 Watt metal halide to 4 hours over my 125 gallon aquarium close to the water surface tomorrow. I like your concept, it fits my lifestyle. Let’s see how it goes.

Can I get your permission to add your post to this Light section web site?

Thank you
Edward
 

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I believe the two light fixtures mentioned would indeed be a lot of light for 40 gallon breeder .
I would run the Ray II alone, for six or eight hour's ,while starting the CO2 an hour before light's on.
Would be a bit more consistent with fertz.(choose a method)
I too would add more plant's so that they can define the tank, and algae then has more difficult time.
Wonder what PAR values both fixtures produce at the substrate, as opposed to just one of the fixtures?
Most agree that 35 to 50 PAR at the substrate is all that is needed for growing bout any of the aquatic weed's.
Is natural I think, to want to fiddle with lighting and find the sweet spot between too much, and just right, but much easier to do so while growing trimming plant's to thin em out (more plant's), than becoming engaged in the method's of battling the various form's of algae.
Less light energy can give you more wiggle room to get CO2 and fert application/distribution just right also.
If light energy is too much, then intensity reduction in my view work's better than reduction in photo period.
I do not use CO2, I dose fertz once a week without fail (Modified for low tech), leaves only the light for me to not get crazy with to produce good growth for my tank's.
I still expieriment with increased lighting, but I also make sure I can raise or lower the light .
Work's fairly well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The biggest reason I went with 2 fixtures was for coverage. One doesn't light the tank very well and the 2nd covers very good. I have a glass top on now with the seam down the middle. I've been wanting to make a mesh screen and this would allow me to position a light directly in the middle of the tank which would probably give decent coverage. I just need to order some mesh and I will get that made and then probably just one light will be sufficient.

In the meantime I've backed the photoperiod way down and will need to get some more timers to have all the variants on and off at different times.

Thanks again for all the help, I plan on also picking up more plants and some cory cats etc. tonight as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looks like new tank algae. Mix and match the following:

Do you have a drop checker or what CO2 levels do you estimate from pH-KH ? Check the CO2 levels are good.

I would suggest buying more fast growing plants, even if you do not want them at the end. You can always sell, trash or donate them.

Spread out the Ludwigia clump, you get more growth this way.

Get some algae eaters ( amano, RCS, otos or even snails will work)

Lower light intensity

Wait

I've heard many say that shrimp will get eaten by fish especially since I don't have a ton of plants. Any truth to this in your experience? I currently have a rainbow fish probably about 3 inches long and a school or rasbora's. I plan on adding some other fish, maybe an angel or 2, possibly a couple rams, not sure exactly what/when.


I would love to have shrimp and had intended on getting some but was waiting to have a fuller tank so they could thrive and survive in the density away from possible predation by fish.
 

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I've heard many say that shrimp will get eaten by fish especially since I don't have a ton of plants. Any truth to this in your experience?
Sorry, I have no experience with rainbow fish. Maybe some other members have this combination. Some fish will certainly eat shrimp fry. Furthermore, the experience varies from fish to fish. Check my journal, my Betta is comfortable among shrimps >:)

My advice: start with a few Amano shrimps. They are better at eating algae, are pretty hardy, are bigger and are transparent. These are advantages that protect them from being pray. Consider adding a patch of moss somewhere so they have a place to retreat. If all is good, try adding some cheap RCS and see what happens. Ghost shrimp are another option, you can buy them as live food in some lfs. No need to pay 15$ for a royal blue tiger bait.
 

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For band aid, you can kill those algae by using hydrogen peroxide. Use them on the effected area with syringe, and this will kill the algae. But you still need to figure out the imbalance in your tank. Most peroxide sold at walgreens 3%, is ready for dosing.
 
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