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Getting rid of algae

1952 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Rickie Briana
Here is the link to the original thread I posted about the set up of my tank
I set it up 2 weeks ago with dirt for the first time and it was stunning, it was the first time my tank had no algae, but since then my water has just been getting cloudier and cloudier, and becoming more "green" even though I have been keeping up with my water changes. I don't understand what I am doing wrong and I need someone to help me out. This is the same problem I had with my old tank.
All I want is for my water to be clear and my plants to be healthy, that is it, but I just can't seem to get the right balance. I trie 1 T5HO light, I tried 2 lights. I have my CO2 blasting. I tried flourish, and flourish excel. And nothing is working, what the heck am I doing wrong.
I attached a picture, keep in mind this was taken on my IPhone 7, this goes to show how crappy my water looks


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Link to original post isn't working for me. Can you post stats again? Specifically, what type of light do you have? how many hours a day is it on? any fertilizing regimen? Frequency and amount of water changes...

good luck!
I'll say all my stats again since the link isn't working
-75 gallon tank
-4 T5HO bulb Fixture, I am running 2 bulbs
-Pressurized CO2 with CO2 tubing, diffuser etc, bubbles per second is to fast to count
- Soil substrate (about an inch) Organic Miracle grow, with a sprinkle of osmacote plus and Mexican pottery clay capped with sand
-Just started dosing Flourish and Flourish excel, I have dry ferts but never had any luck with them
My photo period is 8 hours, with my CO2 going on an hour before my lights

I read an article about how this guys tank and he had a soil based aquarium with hardly any filtration, he didn't dose anything and he had no CO2, and he did a water change every month, yet his tank was crystal clear and thriving.
On the other hand I cannot keep up with the water changes, I have 2 canister filters I run my diatom filter every other day just to make it so you can see through the water and everything even the substrate is turning green, I have a ton of plants and I don't see why the algae is growing like crazy, why should I do?
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Green water algae is usually caused by ammonia, probably from the relatively fresh soil. So it might be just because you tank isn't really "mature" yet. Diatoms is also regularly seen in new setups, and go away by them selves after a couple of months in most cases.

If there is actually growing algae on the substrate, which seem like green dust/powder is, well, green dust algae :p Often brought on by too much lights for the tank.

If its was me, I'd be doing 2-3 50% or more water changes pr week for 2-3 weeks and just wait to see if it improves after some more maturing. WC will help diluted organics in the water, remove algae spores and dilute ammonia if it is present. You might not even be able the measure the ammonia, but the algae doesn't need much to grow. All these things will help restrict algae growth, but not stop it completely. Only a big healthy plants mass with a tank in balance can do that. Which is what we all strive for.

The planted tank "god", Tom Barr, has only been able to produce green water bloom with ammonia, so thats where my reasoning is coming from. Green dust I had quite a lot of my self. PS BN pleco's and Oto's will demolish Green dust and diatoms.

As long as your plants are growing and not having algae grow on them, I'd say your on the right path. Just give it time.
If there is algae on plants, that's a sign that they are not super happy. Then it's a matter of balance between lights, ferts and Co2. 99% of the time a Co2 issue, but it might be something else.

Edit: Regarding the other persons tank, doing the walstad method too with a much "cleaner" tank than yours. Without co2 and ferts, might be just down to lower lights. You have pretty high light, and doing more or less a high tech Walstad. Light drives co2 uptake, which again drives ferts uptake. Low lights = low demand for co2. Low co2 uptake = not a lot of ferts needed.

2 T5's with ok reflectors would be about 40-50 par at substrate, so about medium lighting. And this would definitively require some Co2 and ferts for no algae and happy plants. If the soil is enough on it's own, I'm not sure. Never done walstad. But the walstad's I've seen is usually pretty low tech, and have even less lights. 1x t8/t5. Somewhere between 15-30 par would be my guess.
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Thanks for the response, ammonia is probably the issue since the old sand probably had a good amount of my beneficial bacteria. I reduced my lights to 1 T5HO bulb and I am going to keep up with water changes. My CO2 can't go much higher or my fish might start having problems, this is why it must be ammonia. Thank you
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